Opium production in Afghanistan is on the rise and is turning that nation back into a country run by drug lords, the way it was before the Taliban took over. UN drug agency director Antonio Maria Costa says the country is falling into the hands of “drug cartels or narco-terrorists.” This means that drug wars will escalate here in the U.S. as well.

The Taliban may have provided a haven for Osama bin-Laden and drastically curtailed women’s rights, but they also forced many farmers to stop growing opium. However, since their other crops didn’t bring them nearly as much money, farmers returned to opium growing as soon as they could and production rose to around 3,600 metric tons last year.

Poppies are now being planted in 28 of the 32 provinces in Afghanistan, and opium earned about $2.3 billion last year. Costa says, “Out of this drug chest, some provincial administrators and military commanders take a considerable share. The more they get used to this, the less likely it becomes that they will respect the law, be loyal to Kabul and support the legal economy. Terrorists take a cut as well. The longer this happens, the greater the threat to security within the country and on its borders.”

All this mess can be traced back to us. We need another way to reach alternate states.

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